In therapy circles, Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer goes, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
If you can understand what the prayer means, you’ll see what you cannot change in a person, place, or thing, and what you can change in your self.
What does it take to do this: WISDOM, COURAGE. Result? SERENITY.
When you “detach with love” from an addicted or disordered loved one, you take your focus off him or her. Then, you place the focus into your self – what you can do, what you won’t do – and meaningful choices you can make. Focusing on the “patient” as the problem keeps the problem alive. Detaching from the problem opens doors to solutions and turning problem into opportunity.
I’m reminded of Napoleon Hill who once wrote: “It is virtually impossible not to become what you think about the most. If you concentrate on something long enough, it becomes part of your psyche … If you think about problems, you will find problems. If you think about solutions, you will find solutions… A successful person understands this and learns to overcome them by FOCUSING ON THE DESIRABLE OBJECTIVE, not on undesirable distractions.”